Joliet council member Mudron appears to have survived IG report – again

Election victory would come after City Council declined to reprimand

Election 2024
Council Member Pat Murdon listens to Inspector General Sean Connolly speak on the conspiracy allegations against Joliet Mayor Bob O’DeKirk during the City Council Meeting at City Hall in Joliet on Monday, March 13th, 2023.

Being the subject of three reports by the city inspector general in the past year does not appear to have cost Pat Mudron his seat on the Joliet City Council.

Mudron has a 247-vote lead in the unofficial election results, which looks safe enough to win but could change when final mail-in votes are counted.

Still, he appears the likely winner in a campaign in which voters showed they were aware of inspector general reports accusing Mudron of conflicts of interest in business dealings and unethical conduct in an alleged conspiracy to discredit the mayor.

“I had nobody when I was walking my district question me about the inspector general reports other than to say they didn’t believe it and they were voting for me,” Mudron said Friday.

He conceded that some people probably voted against him because of the reports, but “nobody ever said that to me.”

If his lead holds up, Mudron will win the election with about 33% of the vote, and the remainder will be split among three other candidates.

“That suggests 67% of the people wanted somebody different,” said Quinn Adamowski, who was Mudron’s closest competitor in the race with 28% of the vote.

Candidate for Joliet City Council District 2 Quinn Adamowski speaks at a forum for the candidates at the Joliet Public Library on Tuesday, March 14th, 2023 in Joliet.

Adamowski said he did not raise the inspector general issue while going door-to-door in his campaign, but voters did.

“Many people brought it up, but I didn’t engage in that conversation,” he said. “My hope as a resident is that the infighting ends and we can start to talk about policy again.”

The only publicly known reports from Inspector General Sean Connolly, since he was hired in February 2022, have involved Mudron, who has opposed Mayor Bob O’Dekirk on key issues over the years. O’Dekirk, who lost in the April 4 election, appointed Connolly with approval from the council, although Mudron was the lone descending vote.

Although Mudron would win without a majority of the vote in District 2, he believes his base of support stayed with him in this election.

Mudron received 1,581 votes Tuesday, which is only 121 fewer votes than 2019, when he won with 57% of the vote.

Another factor in this election is that Mudron faced a formidable group of opponents with high profiles in the community.

Adamowski heads several city commissions and is a former president of the Cathedral Area Preservation Association, which is very active in the district.

Also running was Robert Wunderlich, who was a trustee at Joliet Junior College for 43 years and now is a member of Joliet Plan Commission. He got 23% of the vote.

Glenda Wright McCullum, chairwoman of the board at the Housing Authority of Joliet, received 16% of the vote.

Winning the District 2 election would be the second hurdle cleared by Mudron since the third of Connolly’s reports was issued March 1.

Connolly recommended that the City Council reprimand and censure Mudron for his part in the alleged conspiracy. The council at a special meeting March 13 heard from Connolly and declined to follow his recommendation.

Connolly also has recommended that the Illinois Attorney General’s Office look into Mudron’s insurance business dealings with the Rialto Square Theatre and Joliet Area Historical Museum that were the subjects of reports filed in mid-2022.

Connolly and O’Dekirk have forwarded the latest report to the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Mudron said he has not heard from any of those agencies and believes he has done nothing wrong.

“Nobody has asked me to testify or verify any of the information in those reports whatsoever,” he said. “I’d be happy to sit down with anybody.”